ACotopaxi day tour is the perfect way of experiencing the highlands with easy access from the main capital. Cotopaxi has become an iconic stop when visiting Ecuador, clearly visible as a landmark from Quito. Its majestic snowy peaks that can be seen from afar make it an inviting experience from start to finish. Your Cotopaxi day tour starts roughly 50 km south of Quito, it will get you as near as the refuge. For those looking for that extra bit of adventure, an additional 30 minutes will get you to the glaciers.
Cotopaxi Day Tour Highlights:
Cotopaxi is among the highest active volcanoes in the world, with an elevation of 5,897m (19,347 ft) – a quite popular summit many avid climbers try to peak. The Cotopaxi national park is a protected area that provides guest with a glimpse of the volcano and its natural surroundings. Your tour includes viewpoints along the way, a beautiful lagoon and a mild hike to the refuge, all part of your Cotopaxi day tour adventure!
Cotopaxi Day Tour Gallery
Cotopaxi Day Tour Highlights
Jose Rivas Refuge 4810m
Cotopaxi National Park
The Cotopaxi national park is a protected reserve encompassing over 333.9 km of forested surroundings with approximately 200 plant species. The area holds Cotopaxi volcano as it main attraction among other neighboring volcanoes. With an elevation of 5,897 m, the volcano is a beauty to behold and a clear landmark of the area. The park is home to many animals in wild like Andean Hawks, Condors, Horses, the Andean Fox, Weasels, birds & others. The park houses a variety of vegetation zones with humid mountain forests predominantly taking over low elevations.
At 3800 meters high, Limpiopungo lagoon is a scenic stop on your way towards Cotopaxi’s first refuge. Marshy areas, small ponds and surrounding mountains are home to many andean bird’s, wild rabbits and horses. Stunning paramo views – perfect for photography and with some luck – clear weather for a good view of Cotopaxi. A flat trail around the lake usually takes about 1h30 minutes, a good way of settling in the altitude. Weather changes rapidly so keeping a jacket handy is recommended. The ever present clouds intertwining in and out valley mountains create striking landscapes.
Jose Rivas Refuge
With an altitude of 4800 meters high, getting this far in a day tour is a merit in itself! Located in the northern flanks of the volcano, it can easily be spotted from afar. The starting point to reach the refuge is begins from the parking lot with an altitude of 455 m. You can expect a hike from 45 minutes to an hour, varies on physical fitness per person. an additional 30 to 40 minute hike on the right side of the volcano can get you to the glaciers. Climbers wanting to summit Cotopaxi rest most of the evening and depart the refuge at midnight.
Cotopaxi Day Tour Program 2017
Please be ready at your hotel lobby for an early pickup, 8am
Approximately 2 hours of travel to reach Cotopaxi National Park
A short hike in the surroundings and viewpoint of the scenic lagoon
45 minutes to an hour hike. 4550m to 4810m, hike at your own pace
*An optional hike of 30 to 40 minutes to reach the glaciers
Once back at the refuge/parking lot you will be provided with a box lunch
A museum featuring a collection of stuffed animals local to the park
Tour ends, your guide will drop you off in your hotel at approx 4 to 5pm.
- Available 08:00 to 17:00 any day of the week. *Optional activity is time dependent.
Cotopaxi Day Tour Rates 2017
|Certified bilingual guide|
|Activities as listed *entrance fees may apply|
|Personal expenses & entrance fees|
|Transfer to other locations|
Cotopaxi national park entrance fee: Free, subject to change.
Last revision: March-25-2017 / Valid until: December-31-2017
Certified tours by local authorities, compliant with local regulations.
Programs are shared by default with certified english speaking driver-guides.
4×4 vehicles used by default, a van or bus for groups above 4 guests.
Rates are per person/ tour in US$ dollars, rates are subject to change.
Order of activities are not fixed & might change to optimize your experience.
Activities may be replaced/changed if they can be arranged in the allotted time.
- Cap or hat
- Sport or trekking shoes
- High factor sun block cream or gel
- Bottled water to carry with you in tour
- UV400 sunglasses with 100% UVB block
- Digital camera or mobile phone
- Warm clothing & rainproof jacket
- Cash for souvenirs, meals & tipping
- Backpack to carry personal belongings
- Passport copy, keep original stored in hotel
Children allowed: No
Children discount: not applicable
Children minimum age: 12 years
Considered child: Under the age of 12
Restrictions: Accompanied by guardian adult
Discount & restrictions subject to change
Please check our terms and conditions for a full breakdown of applicable clauses that apply for day tour bookings.